Utilizing Apps: Introducing Mobile Technology to the Great Outdoors

By incorporating mobile technology both Trailhead Labs and OnCell hope to expand our community's curiosity and sense of adventure.

by Ryan Branciforte, Co-Founder and CEO, OuterSpatial, Mark DeCracker, President, Trail Works, Inc., Jeremy Wimpey, Ph.D., Principal, Applied Trails Research, Thomas Dunne, President & CEO

The great outdoors is waiting to be explored but sometimes it is difficult to get people outside. Our session is focused on two app projects that aimed to deliver engaging content through modern native mobile apps. OnCell and Trailhead Labs will discuss the overall process, specific challenges, and key learnings to introducing a mobile app to your trail system. Join us to learn more about OnCell’s collaborative app with Wegmans Food Markets and Trail Works, Inc. In addition, you will hear about Trailhead Labs’ stewardship first approach for apps for California State Parks and Martha's Vineyard. By incorporating mobile technology both Trailhead Labs and OnCell hope to expand our community's curiosity and sense of adventure.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will learn real-world strategies for publishing recreation information to their visitors and the associated challenges of deploying, maintaining and marketing an app.
  • Learn about the challenges around capacity to support a mobile app. When it comes to mobile apps, the technology is only part of the question. We’ll share simple tools we used to plan, track, and assess marketing efforts and payoff.
  • Gain a better understanding of the level of effort and process for publishing authoritative and accurate recreation content to a mobile app for visitors to plan trips to their parks and trails and engage while on the trail.
  • Learn about how conducting a pilot can really help an agency understand the needs vs capabilities to make a good mobile app plan for a larger trail system.

About the Authors

Ryan Branciforte is the co-founder and CEO of OuterSpatial, a platform that empowers organizations to connect people to the outdoors. During his 20+ year career working in the public, nonprofit and private sector, Ryan has always had a deep passion for using technology to do good conservation work and get people outside.

Contact: [email protected]

Mark DeCracker is the president of Trail Works Inc. and is committed to making the village of Macedon and other Wayne County communities a better place to live. DeCracker has a B.S. in Outdoor Recreation from Arizona State University.

Jeremy Wimpey, PhD. is one of the country’s leading recreation ecology practitioners. His applied field investigations help public lands managers understand the phenomena and mechanisms associated with visitor-use-related-impacts to wildlife, water, vegetation, and soils as and impacts to other recreationists (degradation or enhancement of users' experiences) in outdoor settings. His efforts focus on estimation of recreation demand, wildland recreation classification/resource inventory, public involvement, social impact analysis, state comprehensive planning, site design, land acquisition, use measurement, impact assessment, and facility operation/maintenance. His unique background— academic, trail enthusiast, entrepreneur— brings an innovative and holistic approach to providing solutions for recreation management challenges.

Contact: [email protected]

Thomas Dunne, President & CEO of OnCell. As a long-time entrepreneur, avid traveler, and father of six, Thomas has a passion for culture, storytelling, and discovery. He is the founder of OnCell and has served as President & CEO since its inception in 2006. OnCell provides mobile app technologies for various cultural destinations, offering the most feature-rich app building platform on the market. Thomas' hands-on involvement in marketing, strategy, and technology has not only helped to grow the company but has also empowered over 2,500 organizations to promote their site and share their stories via mobile technology. OnCell has recently acquired Authentic, a New Zealand-based industry-leading mobile technology company meaning a wider range of products and features to deliver cutting-edge mobile tour experiences. He earned his A.S. from the University of Florida and a B.S. in Economics from the University of North Florida.

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